The usual advice is: “Hands off.” You don’t bother someone who sees differently from you. What is his business is his business. The fact that he may cut his grass too short, water his garden too much or not enough, all this is not your concern. According to your frame of mind, he may eat the wrong foods and stay up too late or sleep too late. You are not here on Earth to improve another. Did you think you were?
Many parents may raise their children in ways you would not. They may let their children stay up late at night, eat candy for breakfast, and play in the mud. What parents do is their business.
When horse and buggy was the fashionable mode of service, there was a moral question: If you see a man beating his horse, do you intervene? It is hard to know how to intervene. In theory, you would stay the hand of the man who mistreated his horse. In actuality, you are not so sure. Yet what is it that would keep you back from preventing or stopping cruelty? If you pass it by, are you, if not an abettor, a supporter?
And so is it with mothers and fathers and their children. Where is the line that you do not pass, and where is the line that you cross when you see mistreatment or what simply may be just a different way of bringing up a child? When must you let your voice be heard? You don’t want to be a busy-body. You don’t want to falsely accuse, and, yet, there are certain situations where in all good conscience, you do not know how to keep silent and yet are not certain that you are to object either.
You have also heard stories of children being seriously injured physically, and, yet, the emotional damage is serious enough to put you in a quandary.
In theory, you may strongly feel that it is not for anyone to interfere in another family’s life. Or it is not for you to. Perhaps someone else can. Perhaps someone else will.
You tell yourself that the long and the short of it is that under difficult or even cruel circumstances, children overcome their upbringing, and, yet, you are not sure that this is cause for your keeping still. On the other hand, what if you are mistaken? You would never want to falsely accuse anyone.
Yet, there are times when you must speak up, when you must defend those who cannot defend themselves. Maybe once in a lifetime. Maybe more. Maybe it will also be a kindness for the one who is so troubled that he or she is unkind when the parent’s role is to love and uphold.
You are not looking for such opportunities, yet, when they thrust themselves before you, you cannot say that you are not your brother’s keeper.
Never do you want to get anyone in trouble. Never do you want to be an over-concerned citizen. Nevertheless, life may give you an opportunity to bless another’s life and, perhaps, to save it.
Yes, I, Who allow only bodies to die, value the saving of a life and upliftment of lives. It is a little service to give, to raise another’s spirits and to give someone a chance that it is yours to give.
This may seem like a predicament to you, yet a predicament is when you don’t know what to do. Perhaps we are talking now about a situation when you may know something is yours to do whether you want to do it or not.
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